Race, love, history, Kyle Abraham takes them all head-on in his latest work, The Watershed. I review it here, for DanceTabs.
A short excerpt: “How does a choreographer and man of ideas like Kyle Abraham, an artist who identifies himself as a “Black Gay American Man” (and recent Macarthur Fellow) begin to pull apart the layers of his experience while allowing himself the freedom to think, not just about issues, but about form?”
Alvin Ailey is dancing at the Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center this week, with its singular mix of exuberance, power, and finesse. Here’s my review of some of the new works (including Robert Moses’ The Pleasure of the Lesson and Wayne McGregor’s Chroma), for DanceTabs.
And a short excerpt: “As a secondary consequence, it has been fascinating to see how these choreographers’ works are in turn transformed by the Ailey dancers. They don’t just do the steps, they mold them to their style and personality.”
My final review of the season is of three premières at Alvin Ailey (by Aszure Barton, Bill T. Jones, and Wayne McGregor). The company, under the still-new leadership of Robert Battle, is looking great. Here‘s my review.
And a short excerpt:
“But what is in a way even more striking is how the repertory [Battle] chooses – often, it must be said, by trendy choreographers – is transformed by the Ailey dancers, with their combination of individuality and collaborative spirit. Despite registering strongly as individual personalities, they are equally involved with each other onstage; like the members of a family, each dancer has his role to play. And one can feel the dancers’ hunger for new challenges – I have yet to see a less than full-throttle performance, even when a choreographer’s style does not quite fit the company’s technique, as with Paul Taylor’s Arden Court last year.”
Here is my review of the program of new works by Bill T Jones at the Joyce, in the company’s thirtieth anniversary season. Both works are set to “important” chamber music (Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major and Schubert’s Death and the Maiden), performed here by the excellent Orion String Quartet.
And here is a short excerpt: “Mr. Jones holds his own, in part by not attempting to follow the music in any literal way. The choreography, which is described in the program as being made in collaboration with Janet Wong (Associate Artistic Director) and the dancers, has a pleasingly free, earthy, all-over-the-place quality. Each dancer has a story to tell and is allowed to do so; the stories, in turn, are artfully subdivided into smaller units (phrases) and re-distributed across the stage, thereby becoming themes, patterns, motifs…. The repeated phrases act as signposts, giving a sense of structure, much as the repeats do in a piece of music.”
I’m eager to hear what other people thought of the program…